Keep up to date
Keep up to date with all things Trade Classics, along with new cars.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

This vehicle has now been sold - click ‘Register Similar’ below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Sold Price


  • Mileage~7,785 on clock
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.9-litre
  • LocationSouthport


1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

Register interest for similar cars


Paul Wright
Professional Consigner

Elegant styling, sporty performance, together with comfortable travel were the successful ingredients for Mercedes-Benz SL.

The W121 190 SL was the eagerly awaited two-seater cabriolet from Mercedes-Benz. A prototype of the 190 SL was shown at the International Motor Sports show in New York the previous year, which left motoring experts and the general public excited for the launch of the production model. When it was released in 1955 at the International motor Show in Geneva, it was met with a resounding success, with comments on its beautiful lines, similar to a style used on the 300 SL Gullwing, and its luxurious leather interior. The engine used in the 190 SL was the newly developed M121, a 1.9 four-cylinder overhead camshaft 1.9 litre engine, which produces 105bhp.

This particular example has been owned by Phil for just over 5 years. Phil has now decided to reduce his collection, and he is looking for another enthusiast to take over the ownership of this wonderful 1955 Mercedes 190 SL.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Paul after meeting Phil the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

I had a few scary moments during the complicated restoration of the 190 SL - but it turned out just as I'd hoped; breathtaking and I'm so proud of the work.

Phil purchased this wonderful 1955 Mercedes 190 SL from the USA, where as a rule things generally have less corrosion, as this was described to Phil when he bought it. After arriving in the UK, a full inspection revealed that the car wasn’t as described, which led to a number of phone calls and emails. To cut a long story short, it turned out the seller he had purchased the car from in the states was actually in Croatia! Not willing to leave it at that, the case was pursued and the dealer in Croatia said that if Phil could get the car to Croatia, he would have it restored. Phil knew of a contact also in Croatia, who went to inspect the so-called restoration company and gave Phil the thumbs up, they were capable of carrying out the restoration on the 190. Three days later Phil was in Croatia with the car on a trailer dropping it off.

The restoration went on for over a year with updates coming in via email showing the car in various stages, but then the emails slowed down. A call suggested that the car needed to have the brakes and exhaust finished, and then it would be ready. This went on for a while longer, and not feeling very comfortable with this, Phil asked a friend who was delivering in Italy, to make a detour and pick up the car on his way back. The rest, as they say, is history.

With the car back in the UK, it was given a full inspection and had some jobs finished off, but to Phil’s relief the Mercedes was in excellent order, with the jobs that had been done, completed to an extremely high standard.

Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below and Phil will be happy to get back to you.

Vehicle Owner

Ask Questions



This stunning 1955 190 SL is a first year in production model - meaning no chrome trim over the wheel arches, giving a cleaner look.

Wheels and Tyres

The wheels are in excellent condition, steel painted and finished with a chrome trim and Mercedes hubcap.

The tyres are matching Pirelli P400, which are in as new condition, including the spare wheel.


As you can imagine with a full restoration, the bodywork is in excellent order. The panel gaps all look to align as they should, and the doors open and close with the slightest touch with a feel of quality.

The convertible tan roof is also in excellent order, and when closed it is nice and tight with a good seal.

Also included is a tonneau cover to match the interior.


Finished in Anthracite, the colour suits the Mercedes perfectly with the red interior and tan roof. The car has a deep lustre to it and is excellent as regards to any stone chips to the front end. There may be one or two if you got out your microscope, but certainly nothing that jumps out at you.

The images taken are from various angles and reflections showing off the beautiful 1955 Mercedes 190 SL at its very best, as you would see it if you were standing there for yourselves. Please take the time to fully assess the condition of the exterior.

Glass and Trim

There are no noticeable scratches on the windows to point out on the Mercedes, and the seals are all in good order, with no perishing.

The chromework around the car is all finished nice and bright - being picky, there is some very slight tarnishing to the front bumper.

The lights all look to be the originals, and are in good condition.

Please take a look at the photos and videos for a more detailed look at the exterior.


Red leather sets off the 190 SL interior a treat - Mercedes-Benz luxury '50s style.

Seats and Carpets

The red leather interior was retrimmed some years ago whilst the car was still in the states. The seats are in really good condition and just worn in nicely, with no damage or wear to be seen; other than general creasing. The door cards are in the same leather. There is a small corner where it has rubbed against the quarter, but nothing excessive.

The carpets were replaced during the restoration in Croatia and are therefore in excellent condition, with no signs of excessive wear. In the boot, again are matching carpets, which are as new, and the spare wheel and jack are present.


Finished in red leather to match the seats, the dashboard is free from any damage to the top leather section. The fascia is painted in body colour, with the original instruments and switches all looking to be in nice condition, with a bright finish to the chrome. The odometer is displaying a reading of 7,785 miles.

No need for sunglasses as the ultra cool sun visors are tinted transparent - does it really get much more classy than this?

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The original steering wheel is in nice condition with no excessive wear. The chrome centre, (which is also the indicator stalks), is in good order with just a small amount of tarnishing.

The gear knob matches the steering wheel, with the numbers clearly visible.

Please see the interior gallery for more hi-resolution images of the interior.


A 1.9 litre and a 4-speed gearbox - ample enough to keep up with the modern day traffic.

Engine and Gearbox

The 1.9 litre engine has been reconditioned at the time of the restoration, and is running beautifully with no untoward noises coming from the M121 4-cylinder engine. It starts up straight away and after a few minutes of choke, will sit happily idling away.

The gearbox was also reconditioned along with the engine, and there was a new clutch fitted. The car pulls well through the gears, which has a nice smooth change with no unwanted noises coming from the transmission or drivetrain.

As you can see from the cold start video, the 190 SL fires up at the first turn of the key and sounds fantastic.

Suspension and Brakes

The suspension all looks to be in good order with no visible leaks, and the ride is nice and smooth with no noise coming from any corner of the 190. Looking under the car, the suspension components look to have been coated in a stone guard material to protect them.

The brakes work nicely bringing you to a halt in a straight line. These were finished off when the car came back to the UK. New handbrake cables and copper brake pipes have been installed.

The Drive

What a car to be in - it does not fail to turn heads!

The ride is nice and smooth, with no effort to drive. The steering may be a touch on the heavy side when manoeuvring, (but what car isn't without power steering), once moving though, the Mercedes comes into its own.

Electrics and Other

The Mercedes is typical of most cars of this age. The electrics are quite minimal, but what is there is working, apart from the radio which is fitted but there does not appear to be any speakers which we could see. With that said, the radio is period looking and fits in well, and really…. who needs a radio in this?

One thing to mention in the glove box door, is that the clock is actually a wind up analogue clock. It’s things like this that add that extra touch of class.

History and Paperwork

The original handbook has stayed with the car for all these years.

Of course there is not a great deal of paperwork with the Mercedes. Some invoices from the restoration in Croatia are present, and the Ohio Certificate of Title shows when it was exported.

The original owner’s manuals are present, and the V5 which shows it was registered in the UK on 1st February 2018, and there have been 0 previous keepers.

Phil will be more than happy to answer any questions you have on this lovely 1955 Mercedes 190 SL, as he knows the car inside out.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned an HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
01.02.2018 Restoration completed and registered
Key Details
  • Model190 SL
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date01.01.1955
  • CC1897cc
  • Mileage~7,785 on clock
  • ColourAnthracite
  • Interior ColourRed
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #12110425500239
  • Engine #5500275
  • RestoredYes
  • Engine RebuildYes
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers0 Previous UK keepers
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned5 years
  • Key FeatureSuperb Restoration

Vehicle Sold

Register your interest for similar cars.

This vehicle has now been sold - click 'Register Similar' below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Ask Questions
Post a comment or ask the owner a question about the car.

Comments are closed.


Vehicle Location


Delivery Calculator

Thank You

Form Submitted

Your request has been submitted successfully and we'll keep you updated.